17 Dec 2018

 

Youth Leaders Agree To Promote Peace And Social Cohesion

Youth leaders in South Sudan’s town of Yei say they are ready to promote the importance of peaceful co-existence so as to restore social cohesion and unity in the State.

Youth Leaders Agree To Promote Peace And Social Cohesion
Youth participants pose for a group photo at the end of the peace workshop [Gurtong photo by Daniel Friday Martin]

By Daniel Friday Martin

YEI, 19 November 2018 [Gurtong]-The Community Empowerment for progress organization (CEPO),  a leading civil society organization in South Sudan brought together 40 key youth chairpersons from the thirteen Counties of the State,  representatives from greater Bhar-el-Ghazal, Upper Nile, Eastern Equatoria and Western Equatoria, influential local musicians, comedians, radio presenters , boda-boda riders for a three days workshop on peace building.

In a statement to Gurtong, CEPO said the workshop supported by United States Agency for International development (USAID) through Viable Transition to Support Stability (VISTAS) aimed at strengthening the capacities of young people for effective building to promote peaceful co-existence in Yei.

“As CEPO we believe that young people have the strength to influence positive change in the community. Youth have been victims during times of conflicts; therefore we brought this young people to erase the mind set of violence and instill in them a new mind set of peace building, reconciliation, peace advocacy and to propagate the importance of social cohesion as one people and one nation” the statement reads in parts.

Speaking to Gurtong at the end of the workshop, Denis Ladu, a youth participant said;

“We are so happy because we have learnt something new more especially on social cohesion, the dangers of hate speech, the power of reconciliation, forgiveness and our unity as south Sudanese to re-build our country. And as youth we have agreed that we will take a lead role in promoting peace and reconciliation by telling fellow youth and other members of the community that violence is bad and living in peace is good” said Ladu.

Agnes Susan another participant expressed willingness and readiness to join women leaders in promoting peace in churches, schools and other public events.

“We have suffered enough, with these basic skills we have gotten out of the workshop, we will not go out there and sleep, we are going to be youth peace ambassadors and actors for positive change in our communities” she added.

Dominic Taban a local musician in Yei could not hold his feelings and said;
“Musicians and comedians have a big role to play in the area of peace building and reconciling broken communities through peace and reconciliation songs, dramas, comedies during our public concerts whether day or night hour shows and concerts with the skills we got from the workshop, we are good to go and play a proactive part in peace campaigns.”

The youth leaders also recommended to CEPO and its partner VISTAS to support them in organizing radio talk shows, music concerts, sports for peace plays, vocational trainings, youth participation in agriculture and entrepreneurial skills so as to keep youth focused and contribute towards national development.

For his part, Satimon Ale the Yei River State Youth Union Chairperson thanked CEPO and VISTAS for empowering youth on the importance of peace building and reconciliation.

“Thank you our partners CEPO and VISTAS for organizing this timely workshop, most of our youth are traumatized because of this conflict. It’s my hope and appeal to the youth, time has come for all of us to promote peaceful co-existence because this country belongs to us the young people and its us to fix what went wrong right” said Ale.

 

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